I have a question. The only question that matters. Would you risk your life for your fellow man? Even if that man is a synth?

Desdemona, also known as Dez, is the leader of the Railroad in the Commonwealth in 2287. She serves as the secondary antagonist of Fallout 4 if the Sole Survivor sides with the Institute or the Brotherhood of Steel.


Desdemona is the current leader of the mysterious and secretive organization known as the Railroad. Her cautious nature and professional demeanor make getting to know her difficult. As leader of the Railroad, Dez is in charge of day-to-day operations and maintaining contact with the widespread network of safehouses.

Not much is known about her history. Dez first signed up with and joined the Railroad sometime before September 2276, serving under Pinky Thompson.[1] Desdemona was voted into the Alpha position following the resignation of Thompson around December 2277. During her tenure, she made major changes concerning the organization's operational security, leading to a drastic increase in the number of synths successfully rescued. She was responsible for devising the railsigns, and was also the one who recruited Tinker Tom and Glory to Railroad HQ.

Interactions with the player characterEdit

Interactions overviewEdit

Other interactionsEdit

  • The Sole Survivor must seek her aid after dealing with the Courser, and getting his chip; as she and her people are the only ones who can decode it.
  • If the Sole Survivor does not speak to Desdemona prior to entering the Institute and accepting a mission, she shuns them and the Railroad quest line ends.
  • If one is a Railroad agent but is Banished from the Institute then this also ends the Railroad quest line as the Sole Survivor remaining undercover was vital to the plan. Desdemona encourages the player character to stop the Institute with the Commonwealth Minutemen as she sees it as the best remaining option for protecting the synths.



  • While receiving the first To the Mattresses mission following The Nuclear Option, the dialogue option to let the Sole Survivor tell her that they, too, miss Glory will be available even if the main story was finished with the Minutemen and Glory is still very much alive, possibly even standing right next to her at that moment. While not exactly logically sound, it is still useful for gaining a large approval boost for several companions including Deacon and Curie.
  • When failing the Railroad quest line and destroying the Institute with the Minutemen, Desdemona may not offer dialogue outside of quests, instead remaining completely silent.
  • Though it is only labeled "fatigues," her unique outfit can be pickpocketed and is upgradeable with ballistic weave.
  • At some point in her life, Desdemona knew someone named Sam, who was most likely dear to her - and is most likely deceased, since her last words (if killed) are of Sam and that she is "coming home" to them.


Desdemona appears only in Fallout 4.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • Desdemona is a character in William Shakespeare's play Othello.
  • The name Desdemona is derived from the ancient Greek δυσδαιμον ("dysdaimon") which literally means "of the Devil." It is generally translated to mean "ill-fated" or "unlucky."


  • pcIcon pc ps4Icon ps4 xboxoneIcon xboxone After completing the main quest line with the support of the Commonwealth Minutemen, if on good terms with the Railroad and the Sole Survivor returns to their hideout, Desdemona will speak of Glory as if she had died even though Glory can be seen walking about. If trying to interact with Glory she will stay silent and not say any dialogue.[verified]
  • pcIcon pc ps4Icon ps4 xboxoneIcon xboxone In her speech to Railroad HQ informing them of the Sole Survivor's successful infiltration of the Institute, she may incorrectly refer to them as "Wanderer" even if they chose a different code name when joining the Railroad.[verified]


  1. Railroad HQ terminal entries